Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Course Content and Outcomes Guide for ART 253A Effective Spring 2021

Course Number:
ART 253A
Course Title:
Ceramics I
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces beginning ceramic processes, techniques, and concepts while addressing historical and contemporary issues. Develop a beginning level of creative problem solving and kinetic skills with clay forming and finishing techniques, including hand building, wheel throwing, use of plaster molds, and surface treatments. Includes critiques, discussions, and presentations to establish critical skills necessary to evaluate ceramic works, explore artistic intent, examine aesthetic and structural solutions, and expand perceptual awareness. This is the first course of a three-course sequence. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

3 terms of ART253 (Ceramics I) or the instructor's permission is required. ART117 (Basic 3-D Design) is not required but is suggested. A sense of curiosity and a willingness to experiment are helpful. A cognitive comprehension of college level English is required

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students will endeavor to do the following:* Find and develop beginning level creative ways to solve problems using a variety of strategiesfor making ceramics.* Creates personal works in clay, which demonstrate a beginning level of understanding ofceramic ideas, materials and techniques.* Ask meaningful questions, identify ideas and issues, and develop a beginning level vocabularyto actively participate in a critical dialogue about ceramics with others.* Experience and appreciate ceramics of the past and the present from different cultures inorder to initiate a life- long process of expanding one’s knowledge of the diversity ofperspectives in the human experience.* Develop, through the experience of making and studying ceramics, an awareness of therelationship of human beings to the physical world, and our positive and negative impact.*Establish self-critiquing skills to develop autonomous expression in ceramics while recognizingthe standards and definitions already established by both contemporary and historical works ofart from different cultures.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will do the following in order to be assessed:•Make creative, appropriately crafted, challenging ceramic solutions to given provocations using various techniques.•Comprehend and apply analysis of ceramic ideas, techniques, terminology, and issues through participation in formal critiques and discussions.•Develop conceptual ideas through the practice of creative research and preparatory studies (e.g. sketchbooks, journals, maquettes, models, writing assignments, presentations, technical practice tests, etc.).

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts and IssuesConcepts•Strategies for developing ideas (i.e. experiencing and playing with materials, imagining, dreaming, visualizing, symbolizing, writing, reading, researching, studying historical and cultural examples, sketching, collaborating, discussing)•Strategies for problem solving towards concretions of ideas in ceramic form (i.e. sketches, plans, maquettes, test pieces, models)•Perception and Art•Form and Content•Interpreting artHistorical and Cultural Contexts•Concepts, theories, and issues addressed by various cultures and historical periods.•Concepts, theories, and issues addressed by contemporary ceramists from different cultures.•Relationships between form and content in works of art from different cultures and historical periods.•The roles of art and artists in different cultures•Intercultural and "interhistorical" influences (e.g. the influence of world ceramics on contemporary western ceramics.)Ceramic Forms and Perceptual Impact•Visual/physical elements used to create ceramic form: point, line, plane, shape, form, marks, texture, shadow, light, value, color, space, sound, smell, weight, volume, mass, text, etc.•Relationships of characteristics within visual/physical elements (e.g. proportion, length, thickness, position, orientation, scale, weight, interrelationship of shapes, relative value and color, movement and stillness, quality of texture, etc.)•Strategies for manipulating visual/physical elements as a means of formal composition and expression (e.g. arrange, juxtapose, relate, contrast, group, balance, unify, repeat, edit, elaborate, classify, divide, increase, decrease, maximize, minimize, dissect, separate, align, vary, diversify, alternate, reduce, connect, etc.)•The relationship between material and form and their visual/physical impact (i.e. a coil acts as a line, an indentation in a form is simultaneously perceived as a mark, a clay body is chosen for its surface texture, color, workability, strength, etc., a glaze is chosen for its color, opacity, durability and sheen, a material is chosen for its associative qualities, etc.)Materials and Techniques•Gravity and the basic forces of tension and compression.•Materials and meaning•Within a 3 term cycle, the below should be included: Creation and alteration of form (i.e. hand building and wheel throwing processes for shaping clay) Surface treatments (i.e. slips, terra sigillatas, glazes and glaze materials: their design, formulation, chemistry, preparation and use, the effective viscosity of them for firing applications, visual and verbal language in differentiating glaze surfaces in terms of their qualities for practical, functional and or artistic purposes.)Differentiation of clay bodies, their physical and historical traits, composition, preparation and utilization.Energy sources and their inherent effect on the clay, glaze and kiln.Cognitive and practical awareness of the firing options (e.g. bisque, gas reduction, oxidation, raku, pit-fire, wood, soda, salt, luster, low-fire, etc.Safety and environmental concerns of materials and techniques: proper disposal of waste, proper safety attire to be used when working with specific materials, health related concerns, sources of information on these subjects. •Critical Analysis Purposes of criticism and analysis of artworks: deepen understanding, reflect on level of quality and possible improvements, heighten creative decision making by observing decisions made by others and oneself, establish and maintain high standards of achievement, ask questions, find new connections, create autonomy and creative confidence, create new problems to solve, discuss art with others to expose oneself to multiple perspective etc.Vocabulary relevant to ideas, materials, and techniques pertaining to ceramics.Application, interpretation, and redefinition of ceramic ideas, connection of historical and cultural contexts, personal expression and creative freedom.Aspects of criticism: formal, conceptual, historical, cultural, experiential etc.Competencies and Skills The successful student should be able to do the following:•Find resources for materials and tools used in making ceramics.•Conduct research to develop ideas, perspectives, and influences from a variety of sources.•Employ a variety of strategies to solve problems encountered in the process of realizing an idea for a ceramic form. Students will be able to make models, sketches, maquettes, material tests, etc.•Use a variety of conceptual strategies to create ceramics.•Use the proper safety/health equipment and procedures in working with ceramics.•Make interesting, challenging, appropriately crafted ceramics that are personally meaningful.•Understand and apply vocabulary necessary to discuss the formal, conceptual, and technical aspects of ceramics.•Analyze and enjoy the formal and perceptual concerns of ceramics.•Communicate with others on a variety of levels (i.e. formal, conceptual etc.) on the subject of ceramics.•Assess the ways in which art objects are affected by personal perspectives and experiences.•Make historical and cultural connections in determining meaning and understanding of art.•Enables student to begin preparing a portfolio of ceramic work.